The U.S. carmakers are under particular stress right now. Art Spinella heads up CNW Research and focuses on the auto industry. He says he's seeing something he's never seen before. He says some lenders seem to be more willing to lend to people who are buying Hondas, Toyotas, or other foreign cars.
[Spinella] "Someone might want to buy a GM or a Chevrolet product and the bank might say, nah, I'm not sure, even with your good credit score, we're not really sure that that's feasible because we're not really certain -- and they don't necessarily say this out loud -- but they're not really certain that Chevrolet isn't somewhere along the line going to be damaged dramatically by a GM bankruptcy filing" [Chris Arnold, "Markets Weigh U.S. Plan to Expand Bailout," NPR: All Things Considered, 2008.11.13].
Think about that: banks deciding for consumers that an entire brand of products, American-made products, is too risky of an investment. GM is on the ropes, Ford is looking a little pale, too. What happens if wary bankers decide the entire American auto industry is too much of a gamble?
I wonder: while some locals appear to be fretting over possible hesitance by Madison lenders to support Madison's TIF district, what happens if the banks decide they want to hold off on funding purchases from Prostrollo's All-American Auto Mall?
I don't know, Pat... maybe stocking a few Hondas out by the White Buffalo wouldn't be such a bad investment... just in case.